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RE: [bolger] Copper bottom treatment?

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  • daniel.curnutte@royalmail.co.uk
    In days of old the sailing warships had a thin copper plate nailed to their wooden hulls. This was done to make them slippery and prevent growth on the
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 30, 2000
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      In days of old the sailing warships had a thin copper plate nailed to their
      wooden hulls. This was done to make them "slippery" and prevent growth on the
      hulls. So I imagine this copper powder idea would probably do the same thing.
      Alternatively would it be equally good to put thin copper plating on the hull of
      a Micro?? Could you glue it on?? Or would it have to be nailed??
      How much would that weigh??
      Daniel
    • Jim Pope
      Daniel, This is an interesting thought, and one that PCB could give you some good information on. His own live aboard home/office, Resolution, has a coppered
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 30, 2000
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        Daniel,
        This is an interesting thought, and one that PCB could give you some good
        information on. His own live aboard home/office, Resolution, has a coppered bottom.
        She lay for years in a tidal inlet in Gloucester which grew beards on other craft,
        mine included, with no growth on her at all.

        I've been wondering recently if this might be the application that 3M 5200 is ideal
        for. Its flexibility might make it just the ideal adhesive for copper sheeting
        applied to a boat's bottom. The copper would undergo thermal expansion and
        contraction at rates very different that of the boat's wooden bottom and the 3M goo
        might allow for it. I think that it is sticky enough to hold onto both the copper
        and the wood or epoxy coated boat bottom. In the good old days, of course, they used
        tar.(and nails, lots of)

        With respect to copper powder and epoxy as a bottom coating, it has been done. But
        it has been done as a racing sailboat improvement. You put it on and then polish it,
        and then looking at your reflection in your boat's bottom, you wipe of the beads of
        sweat you can see on your face in the super shiny surface and believe, truly
        believe, that your boat is now faster than all the rest. The product, whose name I
        have forgotten, has, however, not swept the market.
        Jim

        daniel.curnutte@... wrote:

        >
        > In days of old the sailing warships had a thin copper plate nailed to their
        > wooden hulls.
        >
        > Bolger rules!!!
        > - no cursing
        > - stay on topic
        > - use punctuation
        > - add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts
        > - add some content: send "thanks!" and "ditto!" posts off-list.
      • Clyde S. Wisner
        I think the copper was nailed on to keep out worms which bored into the hull. I have read that these are a problem in the Chesapeake Bay now because of higher
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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          I think the copper was nailed on to keep out worms which bored into the hull. I have
          read that these are a problem in the Chesapeake Bay now because of higher salinity.
          Clyde PS it was a while before I realized that the copper didn't have to be water
          tight.

          daniel.curnutte@... wrote:

          >
          > In days of old the sailing warships had a thin copper plate nailed to their
          > wooden hulls. This was done to make them "slippery" and prevent growth on the
          > hulls. So I imagine this copper powder idea would probably do the same thing.
          > Alternatively would it be equally good to put thin copper plating on the hull of
          > a Micro?? Could you glue it on?? Or would it have to be nailed??
          > How much would that weigh??
          > Daniel
          >
          > Bolger rules!!!
          > - no cursing
          > - stay on topic
          > - use punctuation
          > - add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts
          > - add some content: send "thanks!" and "ditto!" posts off-list.
        • daniel.curnutte@royalmail.co.uk
          I think the copper was nailed on to keep out worms which bored into the hull. I think the cannon balls trying to bore their way through the hull would have
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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            "I think the copper was nailed on to keep out worms which bored into the hull. "
            I think the cannon balls trying to bore their way through the hull would have
            probably been a greater consideration.
          • lm2
            The reason copper was used ( and still is ) is that it is a poison to sea life not as a phyiscal barrier but a chemical barrier so to speak. Currently copper
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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              The reason copper was used ( and still is ) is that it is a poison to sea
              life not as a phyiscal barrier but a chemical barrier so to speak. Currently
              copper is the only legal biocide allowed in most anti fouling paint ( tin
              had eclipised copper but as it is very nasty has been outlawed for almost
              all yachting and small boat purposes).

              A good rule of thumb as far as choosing anti fouling is the more copper the
              better.

              We had an electronic anti fouling system which worked very well on Loose
              Moose 2 which never had chemical anti fouling the entire time we had her.

              Bob & Sheila
              Paradise Connections
              St Thomas USVI
              http://www.paradiseconnections.com

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Richard Spelling <richard@...>
              To: <bolger@egroups.com>
              Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2000 4:21 PM
              Subject: Re: [bolger] Copper bottom treatment?


              >
              > I would tend to think that copper was used because it was available and
              > relatively mallable. I.E., easy to match the curve of the bottom of the
              > boat.
              >
              > Also, I imagine it was the "hard to chew through" factor that kept the
              > marine critters out of the wood.
              >
              > A pretty good modern substitue would be a layer of glass cloth and
              epoxy....
              >
              > > Daniel,
              > > It seems a little doubtful that copper would do much to stop a heavy
              cast
              > iron ball
              > > that was coming with enough force to smash planking inches thick and
              > frames feet
              > > thick. As far as the literature indicates, the copper's purpose was to
              > keep the
              > > marine critters off and out of the vessel. I don't suppose that it had
              to
              > form a
              > > completely watertight layer, but it also served to protect and conserve
              > the
              > > watertight seams with their pitch and caulking.
              > >
              >
              >
              > Bolger rules!!!
              > - no cursing
              > - stay on topic
              > - use punctuation
              > - add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts
              > - add some content: send "thanks!" and "ditto!" posts off-list.
              >
              >
            • Jim Pope
              Daniel, It seems a little doubtful that copper would do much to stop a heavy cast iron ball that was coming with enough force to smash planking inches thick
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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                Daniel,
                It seems a little doubtful that copper would do much to stop a heavy cast iron ball
                that was coming with enough force to smash planking inches thick and frames feet
                thick. As far as the literature indicates, the copper's purpose was to keep the
                marine critters off and out of the vessel. I don't suppose that it had to form a
                completely watertight layer, but it also served to protect and conserve the
                watertight seams with their pitch and caulking.

                I seem to recall that the practice of coppering ships bottoms is not, in fact, an
                ancient one. The mariners search for something to keep the shipworms out and the
                bottom clean has been chronicled from quite ancient times. Spreading tallow all over
                the hull, coating hulls with tar, grease, etc. But it appears that the modern navies
                of the seventeenth century, or perhaps the eighteenth, began the use of copper. The
                practice was then slowly picked up by wealthy ship owners. In the nineteenth
                century, for example, all Clipper ships were coppered. Narratives of earlier voyages
                commonly refer to the growth of fouling on the ships. There are stories of finding a
                secluded harbor to careen the ship and clean her off.

                I would think that if a simple way were found to attach a thin layer of copper to a
                boat's bottom, it might be a very economical way to avoid the danger of worms and
                the expense of haulouts to clean and paint the bottom.
                Jim Pope

                daniel.curnutte@... wrote:

                >
                >
                > I think the cannon balls trying to bore their way through the hull would have
                > probably been a greater consideration.
                >
                > Bolger rules!!!
                > - no cursing
                > - stay on topic
                > - use punctuation
                > - add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts
                > - add some content: send "thanks!" and "ditto!" posts off-list.
              • Richard Spelling
                I would tend to think that copper was used because it was available and relatively mallable. I.E., easy to match the curve of the bottom of the boat. Also, I
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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                  I would tend to think that copper was used because it was available and
                  relatively mallable. I.E., easy to match the curve of the bottom of the
                  boat.

                  Also, I imagine it was the "hard to chew through" factor that kept the
                  marine critters out of the wood.

                  A pretty good modern substitue would be a layer of glass cloth and epoxy....

                  > Daniel,
                  > It seems a little doubtful that copper would do much to stop a heavy cast
                  iron ball
                  > that was coming with enough force to smash planking inches thick and
                  frames feet
                  > thick. As far as the literature indicates, the copper's purpose was to
                  keep the
                  > marine critters off and out of the vessel. I don't suppose that it had to
                  form a
                  > completely watertight layer, but it also served to protect and conserve
                  the
                  > watertight seams with their pitch and caulking.
                  >
                • GHC
                  I believe as early as the Greeks ships were clad, usually in lead. Gregg Carlson
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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                    I believe as early as the Greeks ships were clad, usually in lead.

                    Gregg Carlson

                    At 02:21 PM 8/31/2000 -0500, you wrote:
                    >I would tend to think that copper was used because it was available and
                    >relatively mallable. I.E., easy to match the curve of the bottom of the
                    >boat.
                    >
                    >Also, I imagine it was the "hard to chew through" factor that kept the
                    >marine critters out of the wood.
                    >
                    >A pretty good modern substitue would be a layer of glass cloth and epoxy....
                    >
                    >> Daniel,
                    >> It seems a little doubtful that copper would do much to stop a heavy cast
                    >iron ball
                    >> that was coming with enough force to smash planking inches thick and
                    >frames feet
                    >> thick. As far as the literature indicates, the copper's purpose was to
                    >keep the
                    >> marine critters off and out of the vessel. I don't suppose that it had to
                    >form a
                    >> completely watertight layer, but it also served to protect and conserve
                    >the
                    >> watertight seams with their pitch and caulking.
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >Bolger rules!!!
                    >- no cursing
                    >- stay on topic
                    >- use punctuation
                    >- add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts
                    >- add some content: send "thanks!" and "ditto!" posts off-list.
                    >
                    >
                  • wmrpage@aol.com
                    In a message dated 8/31/00 2:28:19 PM Central Daylight Time, richard@spellingbusiness.com writes:
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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                      In a message dated 8/31/00 2:28:19 PM Central Daylight Time,
                      richard@... writes:

                      << I would tend to think that copper was used because it was available and
                      relatively mallable. >>

                      Pretty much wrong, I think, Richard. Copper was quite expensive and used
                      only because it had biocidal and corrosion resistant properties. The cost of
                      coppering the bottoms of British warships was strain on naval budgets
                      reluctantly accepted because of its anti-fouling properties. If malleability
                      and price were the criteria, lead certainly would have been used - as it was
                      on many church roofs. I don't think it was terribly effective against ship
                      worm - must have helped some, I'm sure, but I believe that teredo larvae are
                      quite small and presumably found interstices between the sheets, torn sheets
                      and the like to offer access to all that nice, tasty oak. Once started, they
                      could grow and munch their happy paths through out the timbers. I believe
                      that later in the 19th century a copper alloy called "Muntz metal" came into
                      use, perhaps because it was somewhat cheaper than "pure" copper, but I'm not
                      sure on that and can't recall a source. Copper sheets were often thicker at
                      the waterline where exposure to oxygen hastened corrosion.

                      If I'm not mistaken, Bolger lived aboard a boat of his design with a coppered
                      bottom for a time and spoke highly of its anti-fouling properties. If I'm not
                      mistaken, he said that the higher initial cost, compared to regular
                      applications of anti-fouling paint, more than paid for itself over time in
                      fewer haul-outs and the saving in paint.

                      I seem to recall that the posting that started this thread was by someone
                      contemplating trailer-sailing a Micro. Here in the land of fresh water, no
                      one bothers about anti-fouling paint on "dry" sailed boats - and few "wet"
                      sailed one either. Is anti-fouling treatment necessary for trailer-sailed
                      boats operating in saltwater?

                      Bill in MN
                    • GHC
                      I would say it is; I get growth on my dinghy in about 3 days. I had a Hobie in the water on a mooring a couple of weeks back for a few days and it got pretty
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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                        I would say it is; I get growth on my dinghy in about 3 days. I had a
                        Hobie in the water on a mooring a couple of weeks back for a few days and
                        it got pretty cruddy pretty quickly. I would expect something light and
                        easy like VC17 would be appropriate - though you need to check its rating
                        for drying out - some can some can't.

                        Of course, not as big deal in winter or cooler water (gulf coast).

                        Gregg Carlson

                        >I seem to recall that the posting that started this thread was by someone
                        >contemplating trailer-sailing a Micro. Here in the land of fresh water, no
                        >one bothers about anti-fouling paint on "dry" sailed boats - and few "wet"
                        >sailed one either. Is anti-fouling treatment necessary for trailer-sailed
                        >boats operating in saltwater?
                      • wmrpage@aol.com
                        In a message dated 8/31/00 7:58:06 PM Central Daylight Time, ghartc@pipeline.com writes:
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 31, 2000
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                          In a message dated 8/31/00 7:58:06 PM Central Daylight Time,
                          ghartc@... writes:

                          << I had a
                          Hobie in the water on a mooring a couple of weeks back for a few days and
                          it got pretty cruddy pretty quickly. >>

                          Gregg - I thought you were in freshwater territory. Am I mistaken? If not,
                          was the "crud" anything other than greenish scum that couldn't be wiped off
                          with a sponge? It may be that biological activity is just a lot slower over a
                          shorter season up here in the land of seasonally "hard water". Anyway, I take
                          it that you think anti-fouling treatment is necessary even on a
                          trailer-sailed boat. I am aware that there are paints formulated so that
                          boats can be launched after the paint has dried. I suppose I should infer
                          from the existence of such products the need for them. Thanks for your advice.

                          Just Curious
                          Bill in MN
                        • GHC
                          I do live in Oklahoma, but my Freedom lives in Pensacola, Fl. Anyway, the Hobie did get quite a bit of scum that could be wiped off. My dinghy has, more than
                          Message 12 of 13 , Sep 1, 2000
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                            I do live in Oklahoma, but my Freedom lives in Pensacola, Fl. Anyway, the
                            Hobie did get quite a bit of scum that could be wiped off. My dinghy has,
                            more than once, develop some seed barnacles (larvae) in just 2 or 3 days -
                            they get hard pretty quick and are tough to scrub off. I do think it's
                            seasonal, but I would tend to use something on the bottom if I was going to
                            leave the boat in for a few days in the summer.

                            I'm changing to a hard dinghy and will probably put VC17 on it.

                            Gregg Carlson

                            At 09:14 PM 8/31/2000 EDT, you wrote:
                            ><< I had a
                            > Hobie in the water on a mooring a couple of weeks back for a few days and
                            > it got pretty cruddy pretty quickly. >>
                            >
                            >Gregg - I thought you were in freshwater territory. Am I mistaken? If not,
                            >was the "crud" anything other than greenish scum that couldn't be wiped off
                            >with a sponge? It may be that biological activity is just a lot slower
                            over a
                            >shorter season up here in the land of seasonally "hard water". Anyway, I
                            take
                            >it that you think anti-fouling treatment is necessary even on a
                            >trailer-sailed boat. I am aware that there are paints formulated so that
                            >boats can be launched after the paint has dried. I suppose I should infer
                            >from the existence of such products the need for them. Thanks for your
                            advice.
                            >
                            >Just Curious
                            >Bill in MN
                            >
                            >Bolger rules!!!
                            >- no cursing
                            >- stay on topic
                            >- use punctuation
                            >- add your comments at the TOP and SIGN your posts
                            >- add some content: send "thanks!" and "ditto!" posts off-list.
                          • pmcrannell@yahoo.com
                            Bill, A good product for your purposes would be McLube s SailKote. It s a dry lubricant, a souped-up, harder version of Teflon. It s GREAT for all kinds of
                            Message 13 of 13 , Sep 1, 2000
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                              Bill,

                              A good product for your purposes would be McLube's SailKote. It's
                              a dry lubricant, a souped-up, harder version of Teflon. It's GREAT
                              for all kinds of lubricating, from sail slides, door hinges, to bike
                              chains. Trailer sailors can buy it in liquid form (instead of the
                              aerosol), and paint it on below the waterline. It dries in seconds,
                              so you can put a bunch of coats on quickly. NOTHING will stick to it.
                              It'll work for a few days, and makes the slime that accumulates after
                              a week or so easy to hose off.

                              Dinghy racers, here in Annapolis, use it for regattas where they
                              have to keep the boats in the water for the duration - no dry
                              sailing. It works as advertised in the Chesapeake's primordial soup.
                              They also coat their spinnakers with it so they won't soak up water,
                              keeping them lighter. All the serious racers use it to spray their
                              rigs - sails slip around the mast and shrouds drastically easier.
                              It's the only true dry lubricant out their, so you can lube headstay
                              foils, mast tracks, travellers, and blocks without it picking up crud
                              that bleeds out of this stuff as that dull grey scunge.

                              Take care,
                              Pete


                              --- In bolger@egroups.com, wmrpage@a... wrote:
                              > In a message dated 8/31/00 2:28:19 PM Central Daylight Time,
                              > richard@s... writes:
                              >
                              > << I would tend to think that copper was used because it was
                              available and
                              > relatively mallable. >>
                              >
                              > Pretty much wrong, I think, Richard. Copper was quite expensive
                              and used
                              > only because it had biocidal and corrosion resistant properties.
                              The cost of
                              > coppering the bottoms of British warships was strain on naval
                              budgets
                              > reluctantly accepted because of its anti-fouling properties. If
                              malleability
                              > and price were the criteria, lead certainly would have been used -
                              as it was
                              > on many church roofs. I don't think it was terribly effective
                              against ship
                              > worm - must have helped some, I'm sure, but I believe that teredo
                              larvae are
                              > quite small and presumably found interstices between the sheets,
                              torn sheets
                              > and the like to offer access to all that nice, tasty oak. Once
                              started, they
                              > could grow and munch their happy paths through out the timbers. I
                              believe
                              > that later in the 19th century a copper alloy called "Muntz metal"
                              came into
                              > use, perhaps because it was somewhat cheaper than "pure" copper,
                              but I'm not
                              > sure on that and can't recall a source. Copper sheets were often
                              thicker at
                              > the waterline where exposure to oxygen hastened corrosion.
                              >
                              > If I'm not mistaken, Bolger lived aboard a boat of his design with
                              a coppered
                              > bottom for a time and spoke highly of its anti-fouling properties.
                              If I'm not
                              > mistaken, he said that the higher initial cost, compared to regular
                              > applications of anti-fouling paint, more than paid for itself over
                              time in
                              > fewer haul-outs and the saving in paint.
                              >
                              > I seem to recall that the posting that started this thread was by
                              someone
                              > contemplating trailer-sailing a Micro. Here in the land of fresh
                              water, no
                              > one bothers about anti-fouling paint on "dry" sailed boats - and
                              few "wet"
                              > sailed one either. Is anti-fouling treatment necessary for trailer-
                              sailed
                              > boats operating in saltwater?
                              >
                              > Bill in MN
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